Guardians Roster Is Heading In The Right Direction

The early results from some of the Guardians prospects have been promising, leading fans to look toward the future.

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This is the point in spring training when you see the youngsters performing, and you start daydreaming of future roster possibilities. Everything should be nothing but good vibes and optimism.

With that in mind, I've found myself thinking what the roster could look like some 16 months from now, post All-Star break ' 25. Taking a look at contracts, we have a good idea of who will and will not be around. It's simply easier to list the pending free agents, which include Shane Bieber, Scott Barlow, Austin Hedges, and Ben Lively. Nothing too insurmountable.

Jose Ramirez, Andres Gimenez, Steven Kwan, Josh Naylor, and Bo Naylor are everyday locks too. Kyle Manzardo should secure an everyday gig this season, splitting DH and first base duties with Josh Naylor.

On the pitching side of things, you can presumably lock in Triston McKenzie, Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams, and Logan Allen. There's a small chance that Shane Bieber could return (have you seen the pending SP FA market?!), but for now, we'll assume he's moving on.

Bullpen-wise, there may only be two names you can write in pen - Emmanuel Clase and Trevor Stephen. Both are under contract through 2025, with club options for the years to follow. Bullpens are so volatile that I won't try to predict any further options.

So far, I've identified 12 of the 26 roster spots, and hopefully, the Guardian can find long-term solutions at short and center field during the 2024 season. Gabriel Arias and Brayan Rocchio will likely get the first shots at shortstop, while newly acquired outfielder Estevan Florial needs to be given an opportunity to play more than others in center. The Guardians could also turn to George Valeria should things with Florial not live up to expectations.

Ideally, the club would also figure out a solution to the right field black hole. However, the Brennan/Laureano platoon seems destined to get the bulk of time out there. So, we can kick the can on that for another year or two. There are internal options available, including Johnathan Rodriguez and potentially Deyvison De Los Santos.

I say all of this because in just under a year and a half from now, there will be even more prospects ready for their shot at big league time - looking at you, Chase DeLauter, Juan Brito, and Daniel Espino.